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An Expansive New Downtown Lounge Wants to Keep Office Workers in the Building

Beau Laughlin curates a massive hangout space in the Wedbush Building

Harbor House, DTLA
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Beau Laughlin (Kettle Black, Sawyer) has partnered with Steve Edwards of Assembly Group to open a new office lobby all-day restaurant and lounge on June 5 at the ground floor of the Wedbush Building. The idea seems like a strong amenity for anyone working in the building that’s more tempted to retreat to places like FIGat7th or upcoming The Bloc. After all, now that Downtown LA is a hotbed of nightlife and restaurant culture, it’s no surprise that crowded office buildings want to ensure their spaces are desirable places to spend time in.

The new Financial District eatery called Harbor House is a novel approach to the standard-issue ground floor office deli, with a huge space that features morning pastries and coffee, then slides into a full-service lunch restaurant, and even bleeds into the evening hours with a cocktail lounge and ample outdoor patio area. According to Laughlin, the idea was to “merge the energy of a buzzy hotel lobby with the collaborative spirit of a co-working space.”

The mornings start with pastries by The Larder, Stumptown coffee, Clover pressed juices, and acai bowls. For lunch, plates like poached salmon salads and buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches will keep white-collar workers full through the afternoon. Dinner means steak frites, charcuterie boards, and even oysters. To drink, there are 20 beers on tap, and cocktails by Kettle Black’s Jordan Young like a Kaffir Mezcal or Kiwi Collins using kiwi shrub and Thai basil.

Sean Knibb and Assembly Group oversaw the design, which does a nice job of coloring the drab office ground floor with modern furniture and some nicely placed olive trees outside. Harbor House will be open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and closed on weekends. Anyone not working in the office can valet park after 5 p.m. for $7.